Duke in Pics: Scenes from Week of Wellness

Healthy Duke campaign kicks off with week of events highlighting health and wellness

Carrie Slaughter takes a photo of co-worker Tracey McNeil atop Duke Chapel.
Carrie Slaughter takes a photo of co-worker Tracey McNeil atop Duke University Chapel.

Carrie Slaughter and Tracy McNeil, co-workers in the Office of the Provost, work in a walk each day around lunchtime.

“We’ll leave the Allen Building and go to Smith Warehouse or the other side of campus or we’ll go to the gardens,” Slaughter said.

On Thursday, their walk went vertical.

As part of the Week of Wellness, the official kickoff of the Healthy Duke campaign, Duke community members were offered the chance to climb to the top of Duke University Chapel. Slaughter and McNeil took advantage of the opportunity.

Each day of the Week of Wellness featured one of the five themes of the Healthy Duke campaign. Monday highlighted Mental and Emotional Wellbeing, Tuesday showcased Environment and Culture, Wednesday centered around Physical Activity and Movement, Thursday’s focus was Fulfillment and Purpose, and Friday’s events touched on Food and Nutrition.

The Chapel climb was originally slated for Tuesday, but rain pushed it back two days. Slaughter had made the trek up the chapel’s 239 steps before. So when the opportunity to do it again was announced, she lobbied hard to get McNeil to join her.

“I didn’t have any choice,” McNeil joked.

After completing the climb, the two soaked in the views and took turns getting photos.

“It’s something you can’t describe to people, you just have to get up there and see the views,” Slaughter said. “It’s awesome.”

Here are some other views from the Week of Wellness’ events.

The Nasher Museum of Art hosted a free yoga class on Monday.

Fulfillment and Purpose: Yoga at the Nasher Museum of Art

On Monday, 32 members of the Duke community came to the Nasher Museum of Art for a free yoga class.

The group got a 45-minute yoga class and a period of meditation that featured a didgeridoo performance by Nathan Wilson of the Duke Career Center and free admission to the museum’s exhibits.

As an activity that can improve mental and physical wellbeing, yoga played a role in several of the week’s events. In addition to the yoga session at the Nasher Museum of Art, there were also yoga events scheduled for Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, East Campus, Duke Chapel and Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

“I’ve been doing it for most of my life, so I don’t know what it would be like without it,” said Duke Higher Education Analyst Jae Furman, a longtime yoga practitioner who took part in the event at the Nasher Museum of Art. “It is a good balance. We are bombarded with so much stress. … Yoga enables us to hopefully escape from all of that for a period of time and just focus on one or two things.”

Duke student Annie Lu captures an image of the view from Duke Chapel on her phone.

Physical Activity and Movement: Duke Chapel stair climb

It’s not every day that members of the Duke community have the chance to climb to the top of the campus’ most iconic building. So it was no surprise that there were few spots left among the eight groups of 15 that had the chance to make the ascent to the top of Duke Chapel on Thursday.

First-year students Nicholas Chrapliwy, Annie Lu and Bailey Bogle were part of the first group scheduled to climb the steps and enjoy around 15 minutes among the spires and sky.

“Just think, this is our school,” Lu said as she began walk down.

The Duke Farmers' Market featured fresh, local produce and several events highlighting health and wellness.

Environment and Culture: Farmers’ Market

Mushrooms, tomatoes and pickles were for sale at the Windy Acres Farm tent during the Duke Farmers Market on Friday. In addition to the typical produce, cheeses and breads at the market, there were a several activities celebrating the Week of Wellness and Healthy Duke.

Employees partook in BrainTap, a technology that reduces stress and provides quick meditation. LIVE FOR LIFE was also on hand to pass out reusable tote bags.

Jill Simpson shakes the hand of Riley, a therapy dog with the Pets at Duke program.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing: Pets at Duke

Therapy dogs from the Pets at Duke program greeted visitors to the Medical Center Greenway Friday afternoon. The four-legged companions go through intensive training to provide emotional and physical support to patients in the hospital system thanks to the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program.

Jill Simpson’s golden retriever, Riley, allowed plenty of pets and even a few handshakes. In his six years as a therapy dog, Riley has visited thousands of patients. His support helps reduce blood pressure, ease stress and provide physical comfort.

“You wouldn’t believe the joy he brings everybody,” Jill Simpson said. “They say it’s the best thing that’s happened all week.”


Food and Nutrition: Balance Your Plate

Diners at the Brodhead Center had a special option thanks to the “Balance Your Plate” campaign during lunch Friday. Dieticians from the Student Wellness Center worked alongside Duke Dining to create meals available from most of the vendors in the West Campus dining facility.

The meals consisted of 50-65% carbohydrates, some lean protein and healthy fat.

The options included a chicken pesto whole wheat wrap, a tuna poke bowl with brown rice, seaweed salad, edamame, watermelon radish, mango and ponzu sauce, and black-eyed pea hoppin’ john with stewed okra and tomatoes.